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Fewer people are getting permanent name suppression

The number of people receiving permanent name suppression has fallen each year since the Criminal Procedure Act was introduced in 2011, the Ministry of Justice says.

"New Zealanders made it clear they thought too many people were getting permanent name suppression" - Justice Minister Amy Adams Source: istock.com

The changes came amid calls for tougher conditions for name suppression, with many arguing that too many of those facing court were successfully keeping their identities secret for trivial reasons.

The Act made it harder for lawyers to justify name suppression for defendants by altering wording in the threshold from "undue harship" to "extreme hardship".

A graph showing the number of permanent name suppressions granted to defendants by New Zealand courts between 2011 and 2015. Source: 1 NEWS

The Ministry released numbers today which show the number of people receiving permanent name suppression has more-than halved.

In 2011, 640 people were granted permanent suppression, followed by 407 in 2012, 354 in 2013, 336 in 2014 and finally 317 in 2015.

The number of defendants receiving interim (non-permanent) name suppression has remained relatively unchanged, a Ministry spokesperson said, with 1232 in 2011 falling to 1191 in 2015.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the "law as it is now framed appears to be striking a better balance between the interests of the parties involved and the public's right to know".